Five in court after �20m police drugs operation

FIVE men arrested in connection with one of London’s biggest-ever drugs haul worth an estimated �20 million minimum were due in court this-morning. They were arrested during a police operation in East London when drugs weighing more than five and a half-tonnes were said to have been seized at a warehouse in Romford on Tuesday night

By Mike Brooke

FIVE men arrested in connection with one of London’s biggest-ever drugs haul worth an estimated �20 million minimum were due in court today.

They were arrested during a police operation in East London when drugs weighing more than five-and-a-half tonnes were said to have been seized at a warehouse on Tuesday night.

The five held at Charing Cross police station, including a 69-year-old from the East End, were charged this morning with importing class B drugs, contrary to the 1979 Customs & Excise Management Act, and were due before City of Westminster magistrates.

They include 69-year-old John Rowe, from Mansford Street in Bethnal Green, 49-year-old Russell O’Cuneff from Glengarnock Avenue in Cubitt Town, Isle of Dogs, and 67-year-old Wattie Souter from Raymouth Road in Rotherhithe.

Charged with them are two men from south London, Patrick Maloney, 54, from Walworth near Elephant & Castle, and Derek Mercer, 70, from South Norwood.

It follows Tuesday’s police operation at the Askew Warehousing industrial unit in Grays, near Tilbury.